U of Chicago dining halls receive gluten-free certification
CHICAGO — After a months-long process of improving options for students who cannot eat gluten, campus dining halls have received gluten-free certification.
After the site inspection last Wednesday and Thursday, the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), a respected arbiter of gluten-free standards, gave the University a perfect rating of 100 percent. Cynthia Kupper, the executive director at the GIG who helped conduct the audit, said that the score was the result of the thorough implementation of a set of strict standards.
Kupper and a colleague inspected the dining hall site and discussed gluten-free food handling with workers at the station.
“We see [that score] when time has been taken to make sure that it’s done well. But it
is not common that everyone gets a 100 percent,” Kupper said. “The certification…allows [students] the confidence that somebody is watching to make sure that the cafeteria or the food service is doing a good job,” she added.
Over the last several months, the GIG consulted with Aramark, the contractor running food services at the University, and University Dining, on their standards for handling gluten-free food. The GIG will also investigate and try to rectify student complaints about gluten handling in the dining hall.
A main feature of efforts to expand and secure gluten-free options was the launch of a new station in Cathey Dining Commons. Within the next two weeks, executive director of dining Richard Mason expects the station to be certified as one of the only gluten-free stations at a university dining hall in the country. The University of Chicago is the only university in Illinois certified by the GIG, according to Kupper.
In preparation for the audit, the station was deep cleaned and employees were educated about preparing and serving gluten-free food. As part of the certification process, the GIG reviewed and made